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The (Rotterdam) ROOT exposes the intertwining of reality and imagination, demonstrates the energy field of creative potential and connects the places where this creativity is expressed in the city. Thanks to augmented reality, every city inhabitant and visitor can discover this structure by using a smartphone. 

The (Rotterdam) Root stems from a period of crisis. New construction plans by the municipality meant Setola had to demolish his studio building in 2020. He found himself without a workspace at a time of an ever-increasing lack of creative space. On top of that came the restrictions of Covid-19 which closed down many presentation venues. With The (Rotterdam) Root, Setola demands space in the city in an almost megalomaniac way, without needing a single cubic metre of land. This inverted root system hangs above and between buildings, thus connecting brick reality with the irrepressible urge to imagine.

In Gallery 3, visitors can see the drawing series Loose Ends and the animated film Junction, in which Setola previously explored the intersection of reality and imagination, intertwining mental spaces, architecture, and the relationships between people.

About Sandro Setola

Sandro Setola (1976, Heerlen, NL) has been working as a visual artist since 1998. He was a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten Amsterdam (2003-2004) and has exhibited his work in London, Paris, Seoul, New York and other cities. He lives and works in Rotterdam.


Organisation: Sandro Setola
In cooperation with Studio Whoohoo, Centric BV.

Made possible by financial contributions from CBK Rotterdam, Stichting Droom en Daad and MondriaanFonds.


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam



Het Nieuwe Instituut
Maud Vervenne